Residents warn drug dealers

2015-09-15 06:00
The group of residents wait outside the home of a suspected drug dealer while officers search the premisses.

PHOTO: 
Samantha lee

The group of residents wait outside the home of a suspected drug dealer while officers search the premisses. PHOTO: Samantha lee

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Enough is enough, say Strandfontein residents who are taking to the streets to send a strong message to alleged drug dealers in the area.

On Saturday last week, a group of residents were accompanied by the local community police forum (CPF), neighbourhood watch, metro police and director Robbie Robberts, law enforcement, Pagad, cluster CPF and provincial Minister for community safety Dan Plato.

The group visited several suspected drug dens and dealers, giving them a warning to stop illegal activities. The officials also encouraged the community to stand up together.

“We can win this war if we stand united,” said Plato. He said he joined the initiative following a spate of killings.

“One killing is one too many. We have come to show our support. The community has said they won’t win this war alone and that they need government. We are here in solidarity to show gangsters that we will not stand back. We will fight them with all power at our disposal,” he told People’s Post.

He urged residents to become united and work with law enforcement agencies and blow the whistle.

“I have heard rumours that there are officers on the payrole of the gangsters. We are telling residents to send through their names and details so that this can be handed over to the police management for a full investigation. We cannot put all our energy into fighting the scourge if police are working against us,” said Plato.

He did not imply that his office was aware of any such corrupt officers, but rather suggested that allegations be forwarded for investigation.

Sandy Schuter, CPF chairperson, said the initiative was necessary.

“With this we are able to expose these drug dealers and show them we are sick and tired. Also other organisations can see that the police do not have the resources and manpower to assist us,” she said.

Hanif Loonat, cluster CPF chairperson, said he was disappointed that officers did not join the march from the beginning. He was planning to take it up with police management.

Police officers joined the initiative later, but with metro police and law enforcement officers on the walkabout, several other issues, such as illegal structures and notices to evacuate, could also be dealt with.

Aslam Tofey of Pagad said his organisation was willing to work with any organisation.

“We want this community to rise up against gangsterism and drugs. If you don’t rise you allow them to act with impunity. We have one chance to make a difference and it must come from the community,” he said.

Following the one-hour march officers executed several search warrants. Another march is set to happen this week

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